451 West Sheridan Street Ely, Minnesota 55731
Fishing Report
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Walleye fishermen have been reporting moderate success on the local lakes, but those venturing into the Boundary Waters have been doing very well. Most actiion has been through the use of crawlers and leeches either on a jig or rigged on a spinner rig. The bite has been in water from 15-25' during the day, and in the shallows come evening right up into two feet of water.

The crappies are definitely pleasing some anglers with nice limits coming out of Fall Lake and Back Bay up on Basswood. Some of these fish are topping two pounds and have been readily taking a shine to the various soft plastic baits that are now available. Many people are still using live minnows to catch them, but many more are finding out the merits of artificials in that one doesn't have to rebait after each fish and are able to keep ones bait in the water longer while the bite remains hot.

Smallmouth bass anglers have been having a field day with the feisty bass smashing top water offerings along shorelines and weed edges, or on crawfish pattern crank baits during the day.

Vertical jigging is paying off for anglers targeting lake trout on the deeper lakes surrounding Ely. Jigging Raps and white tube baits really shine here, but some trout over ten pounds responding to trolled spoons. White, white/green and orange/copper colors have been the most productive.

Walleye anglers are having some succes of late, in spite of the mayfly hatch. The primary baits have been leeches and crawlers fished in conjunction with spinner rigs in ten to twenty feet of water. Some folks are also having success with crank baits fished on island drop-offs and sunken reefs. Evening fishermen are scoring as well when using slip bobbers and leeches, with some of the best action occuring right at dark. This is where a good lighted bobber comes into play.

Crappie action has been heating up too. Some crappie fishermen have been saying that the action has been so good that they have to reluctantly leave after filling their quotas with the fish still biting.

Some decent catches of northern pike have been reported, with anglers using spinner baits and top water lures fished on weed edges and rocky points.

Lake trout have been somewhat active too and have readily taken trolled spoons and large crank baits in the fifty foot of water depths.

Smallmouth and large mouth bass have been smashing surface running lures early and late in the day. During the heat of the day, soft plastics on a jig or weighted hooks have been the way to go. Some fine catches have been made by shore anglers just bobber fishing with either a leech or crawler as bait.

The walleye bite has slowed this past week, perhaps due to the recent mayfly hatch. Some anglers had some success, but action has been relatively slow. The fish that have been caught were coming from shallow water in the ten foot range, around weed edges or in the mud flats.

Smallmouth bass action has been heating up in spite of the bug hatch and are responding well to surface lures near shore. Hula Poppers and Jitterbugs have been the go-to baits along with Torpedos and Tiny Torpedos a close second. Best action has been early and late in the day. Some nice smallies have been caught with diving crank baits in a crawfish pattern during the heat of the day. As always a lively leech or crawler can also do the job when fished under a bobber.

Some nice pike have been taken using spinner baits or large crank baits fished along weed edges or near submerged structure. The old adage, "big bait, big fish", is still applicable. For a more laid back approach, try fishing a frozen smelt or live or dead sucker fished right on the bottom.

Lake trout have still been co-operating on Burntside Lake. Trolled spoons or deep diving crank baits have been the ticket to success there. Try to get your offering down in the forty to fifty-five foot water depths for the best action.

It's been a good week to be fishing in the Ely area. The weather has finally given us a reprieve from the rain showers, and the mayfly hatch is finally winding down. Fishing pressure was light, as normally is the case folowing a holiday weekend, so there was little competition for prime fishing spots.

Crawlers and leeches led the way for live bait presentations for walleyes. Minnows become harder to keep for many anglers that are reluctant to keep their bait cool and aerated with the warmer temps outside, and crawlers and leeches can be kept in the cooler alongside your favorite beverage. Spinner rigs have been a preferred offering, but some anglers are finding success working deep diving crank baits in mid-range structures such as sunken reefs and islands.

Smallmouth bass anglers are being rewarded with some great top water action early and late in the day. Mid-day action seems to favor soft baits such as crawfish imitations, and swim baits worked in rubble, weed edges and sunken timber. A good way to get the kids in on some action is to suspend a leech under a bobber. It usually doesn't take long for a hungry bass to find it.

Northern pike are smashing top water baits as well, as bass fishermen are finding out, but spinner baits a large crank baits are scoring too.

The recent rainy weather served to keep a lot of folks off the water, but to those hearty souls who did venture forth were rewarded with some decent catches of fish. Some nice walleyes, up to twenty-seven inches have been caught from Birch Lake and from Basswood Lake, with anglers using a variety of methods from dragging crank baits, floating crawler harnesses, and jig or bobber fishing leeches. It seems to be more of a matter of location, than tactics. Most are saying that the fish are relating to a softer bottom of mud or sand.

Pike numbers remain good as well, with a good number of them in the forty inch and up range coming to the net. Spinner baits and large crank baits are very effective right now, but some are using suckers as their bait of choice to cash in on the lakes bounty.

Smallmouth bass are going into their post-spawn habits, and are beginning to hammer top water baits fished in the transition zones where soft bottoms verge into rubble fields of rocks.

More than a few lake trout are being taken by anglers dragging crank baits and spoons in the forty to fifty-five foot of water depths. Deep water basins have been producing the most action as water temps slowly climb.